Towards LAMP 3 – MySQL vs Oracle
Considering the database part of open source LAMP stack, in particular MySQL, we have to understand that the database is the most complex piece of software and is the most critical component of an enterprise. Remember, it holds the most valuable information– company data. If you, for example, lose the middleware you would probably be able to rebuild it from scratch. If you lose company data, do not ask me what is next. 🙂
I remember a particular case where a SAN serving different database systems crashed. As a result: Oracle databases – no problems; MS SQL Server – one database could not be started for a few more hours due to strange Windows behavior; Sybase – a few tables were corrupted that could be fixed within a few hours of the application being restored. What I want to say here is that the software vendors who have been developing industrial database management systems for decades still have problems during severe OS or HW problems. Add to that periodic database bugs that sometimes also lead to unexpected outages. At the same time MySQL acquired important RDBMS features just in its latest release. It might have similar performance and similar features but I think it still can not provide comparable stability, scalability and confidence as leaders of commercial RDBMS platforms.
Why MySQL – because it’s free or more accurately said – cheaper? Well, Oracle has an officially free database for small applications called Oracle Database XE. Use it if you want. Furthermore the future of MySQL is not clear at the moment. MySQL commercial distribution belongs to SUN who is being acquired by Oracle at the moment. What plans Oracle has on MySQL – nobody knows. Probably Oracle is not going to replace its number one RDBMS with mySQL. But let’s wait a bit…
It would be interesting to see how IT could benefit once Oracle owns MySQL, Java, Solaris and a piece of HW. I would expect some enterprises can benefit from that acquisition and reduce their IT costs in some other areas as well.